tv Politics and Public Policy Today CSPAN November 3, 2015 9:00am-11:01am EST
and not as criminals. but, as people who deserve a hearing to determine whether they deserve asylum or not. and people who need help along the way. so, that's a piece of what we're doing. but it's nowhere near the size and scope of what we're doing closer to syria in the region. the other thing we're doing is, we're participating in international conversations with the european leaders. we did that in new york, at the u.n. general assembly. i just came from istanbul, from the global forum for migration, development. you know, i've met with everyone from the german foreign minister to the swedish migration minister to the lebanese prime minister. we're talking to them, asking them what do you need, what can we do to help you? one of the proposals is that we
try to do a better job internationally, pulling people together to do more, not just in terms of money, which is part of it. but certainly in terms of resettlement, work visas, family unification, humanitarian visas. trying to get permission for refugees to work in the places that -- to which they've fled. trying to get kids in school. trying to get development assistance off the tap to help governments like lebanon and jordan, whose societies are really strained by having done the right thing. so that's -- that gives you a little flavor for the kind of international diplomatic exchanges we're having right now. >> thank you so much, miss meng. mr. deutch? >> thank you, madam chairman. i appreciate it, thanks assistant secretary richard and deputy administrative minister
sta al. we appreciate your willingness to keep a dialogue with the subcommittee. i've been clear where i stand on the need for increased humanitarian aid, the support by our allies around the world, the tension and the need for action in syria and the need for real and serious discussion on the practicalities of the safe zone. i hope that we'll have that conversation. but today i want to take advantage of director rodriguez's presence to explore refugee process. i appreciate what you've shared already. i will tell you i've written to the chairman of the judiciary committee asking for a hearing on this topic, as well, thus we'll have the opportunity to delve into these issues further there, also. so, i'd just like to walk through a few questions. you talked about uscis' role in the u.s. refugee admissions program. you talked about the interviews to determine who's eligible for refugee status. you've said that refugees -- applicants for refugee status are interviewed in person.
who's responsible for conducting those interviews? >> i'm sorry, those interviews are conducted by refugee officers who are part of our refugee admissions program. >> and what's -- i know you talked about the way cases are solved, can you talk about the role of these refugee officers in adjudicating the applications for refugee status? >> so, i think the way to describe that role is first to talk about both the training and briefing process that they take into the -- so they all participate in a five-week training course as officers followed by a specialized training course as refugee officers. once we know that they're going to be deployed to a particular environment, let's use the case of screening syrian refugees, they receive a specific eight-day briefing prior to
their deployment. the purpose of that briefing is to steep them in the country conditions which are applicable to the country in which these individuals are coming and those country conditions consist of all the things that you would think. in what part of the country is the government dominant? in what part of the country is isis dominant? what are the specifics of what's going on in a particular province, and much more that would really be difficult to talk about in a public hearing. but i think you get the sense of the kind of content with which they are briefed. >> how many of them are there? how many of them are trained to deal with syrian refugees? >> in total -- well in total there are 100. i don't know specifically how many are trained. what i will tell you is that, for example, in istanbul at any time, we will have deployed either a team of either five or ten, depending on how many cases are actually ready for their intervention.
>> and are there specific security checks that have been instituted specifically for syrian applicants? >> it is the syrian vetting is the most intense vetting that we conduct. i talked about the interagency checks. >> which agencies are -- >> a number of intelligence agencies. a number of law enforcement agencies, are populating the database that we use for the information check, including specific databases that identify individuals who may be terrorists. >> and while their application's pending where do they reside? >> they may reside in specific -- depending on where they are. a lot of that depends on where they are. they could be in refugee camps. a large number of them are. >> they're abroad? >> yeah, they're abroad. they're certainly not in their country and they're certainly not here in the united states. >> and the u.s. refugee admissions ceiling over the last three fiscal years was at 70,000. would uscis have the capability
to conduct these extensive security evaluations and interviews if the cap was raised to 85,000? >> absolutely, congressman. we do our job no matter what. >> and if it was raised to 100,000? >> like i said, congressman, we will do our job. we understand how critically important it is that we absolutely do our job, and leave no stone unturned when it comes to conducting these security checks. we will not cut corners. >> and you said that hundreds have been placed on holds or denied altogether. do you know what the specific numbers are? >> i apologize. i don't remember them right now. i usually have them at my fingertips but i certainly can provide them to the members. >> if you would. and if i may, i just want to thank you for the work that's being done. i want to thank you for your testimony here today to help provide some much-needed context, and to push back against some of the statements that have been made, wholly
without any factual basis about the review that's done, the extent of the review, and i think without a full or in many cases without any appreciation for the efforts that are undertaken every day. to go through this refugee process, and to contribute to our nation's safety. you said in your opening testimony that it's important to you to honor our 2r5d igs of offering refuge to those who desperately need it. i agree, and i thank you sincerely for the work that you do. >> thank you, congressman. >> amen. and how touching to dedicate this program, in your mind, to the legacy of your grandfather. very touching. >> thank you. >> mr. connolly of virginia is recognized. >> thank you, madam chairman. and welcome to the panel. ms. richard, with 12.2 million syrians within syria who are in need of humanitarian assistance,
we've got in a country with 4.5 million people in lebanon, 1.1 million syrian refugees. in jordan, 10% of the country's population are syrian refugees, equivalent. to what extent are we concerned about the destabilizing effect of long-term refugee presence in small, delicate countries in the middle east region? >> thank you for your question. we're very concerned about it. it's one reason that we in very often in discussion with these government officials in those countries. we have a very strong aid program in jordan, that is
stretching now to do more to help the communities that have taken in all these refugees. i've been very influenced by the high commissioner for refugees who's visiting washington right now, gutierrez, who really believed that this required more than just relief to the refugees. but also requires help to the communities, whose hospital beds are filled, whose schools are gone to second shifts, to accommodate syrian children, whose water systems are straining, water and sanitation systems. you know, on a municipal level, there's a lot more people there, in both jordan and lebanon. i mentioned the other -- that i recently came back from jordan. that was my eighth visit in the 3 1/2 years i've an assistant secretary so we have a very close working relationship with them. in lebanon, i had met with the prime minister when i was in new york in september. he'd met me several times before, so we have a good conversation there. we're particularly interested in doing two things.
one is making sure that these development resources come in to these countries, whether it's from usaid or the world bank and multilateral mechanisms. and then the other is to make sure that children get in to school. because we think that's one of the most worrisome things right now. is that there's a whole generation of syrian children who are out of school, and you know, in danger of being unskilled and at loose ends. >> to what -- do we have an estimate of the total population of syrian refugees that will need to be permanently resettled? that are not going to be going back to syria? >> i don't think we have an estimate of that. it's very much done on a case-by-case basis. and we work unhcr to identify the most vulnerable cases. they sought to, starting in september 2013, they started to look at targeting a certain
number of syrians, and it's now up to 130,000 syrians as a goal, and they have referred 20,000 of that number to us. in recent months it's climbed to 22,000. the u.s. will probably end up taking most of the syrian refugees who are referred for resettlement, but we are also trying to convince other countries to also do their share. >> right. and i want to get to that. but the number we have decided, the president announced, is 10,000. is that not correct? >> that's correct. for this fiscal year. >> right. how do we arrive at that number? based on what? >> well, we had been planning to bring between 5,000 and 8,000, and the president pushed us to stretch, and really gear up to take more. that makes sense as we're adding 15,000 refugees to our overall ceiling.
then the number for the following year we haven't determined yet. in part that's because we want to see how well we do this year, or in the first half of the year in getting more syrians to the united states. >> and what progress are we making in pressing health partners both to accept refugees and to help finance the humanitarian services that are so desperately needed in jordan, lebanon, turkey and elsewhere? >> i would say our score card on that is very uneven. it's very uneven. we've seen how kuwait has held three major pledging conferences for the syria crisis, and they themselves provided hundreds of millions of dollars several years running, and followed through on their pledges. but not all of the gulf states do that. some give very little. some give a little bit and then
pledge some and then don't follow through. the uae, in addition to kuwait, has done several hundred millions of dollars. in general, none of these states resettle refugees. they are permitting syrians to come and work in their countries. so that's one way that they are sheltering syrians and their families. but that's normally a temporary situation. >> and a drop in the bucket. >> we need more. >> madam chairman, my time is up. but thank you. >> thank you so much mr. connolly. mr. rohrabacher of california? >> so when we're talking about this great challenge that we face, you're saying that these oil-rich gulf states aren't -- are bringing people in as guest workers. how many -- do we know what magnitude that is that we're talking about? >> i don't have those facts. >> how about 5,000 people? how about 20,000?
we're talking 50,000? >> we'll get you that information. because what happened was, when -- in the last month, in september, with the europe migration, there's been a lot more criticism of the gulf states and some of them pushed back and provided more information than we had previously had. >> how many migrants, do we know, have gone into europe in these last 18 months? >> it's hundreds of thousands, upwards of 600,000. >> upward of 600,000, and we don't know if the gulf states have even brought in 10,000 people? >> well, i probably should know. but i don't know today. >> all right. i appreciate that. now we're talking about bringing 70,000 or 75,000 to the united states? >> the past three years we've brought 70,000 refugees from all around the world to the united states. last year, we brought 1700 syrians as part of that 70,000. >> 1700 out of 70,000? >> that's right. and then for this year, we
intend to bring 85,000 refugees to the united states, and 10,000 syrians. >> and 10,000. where are the rest of the refugees from, by the way, the other countries? >> the top countries they're coming from are iraq, burma, and somalia. >> okay. iraq. how many are -- >> but they come from 67 different countries. >> how many are coming from iraq? >> i have that and can tell you that. >> so 12,676 came from iraq the fiscal year that just ended september 30th. >> 12,000. now of these people, one thing we've noticed that the migrants coming into europe, we seem to notice that they seem to be very strong, young men who are virile and muslims.
leaving this muslim part of the world, to go in to this other part of the world that's not a muslim part of the world, and they're getting away from conflict, and they're going there. is there any -- let me ask you this, of the people that we are bringing in, are they going to be muslim men, like are going to europe? or is there some way that we are trying to see that we have maybe a better definition of refugee, helpless people who are in need, rather than bringing more muslim men into the united states and into western europe? >> well, of the 1,700 that we've brought, only 2% were young men, you know, young adult single men. >> mm-hmm. >> of course we bring men. we bring families. we bring families that have had terrible things happen to them. i would question, i guess, some of the thinking behind your
statement about the young, able-bodied muslim men walking to europe. i think the reason that they're able to walk to europe is because they're able-bodied. and i think the reason they're going is because they've lost hope in the places they're living now, of being able to finish their educations, or have an education, or have a job, or earn some money and support their families. >> when we see these pictures of thousands and thousands of young muslim men in the streets in western europe, one thing has to be a priority. we want to help refugees whose lives are in danger. that's our moral stand here. this is what makes us america, is we care about people who are in danger like that. but when you're talking about the people that i've seen are military-age people who, if they are against radical islam, they should be there fighting radical islam.
and, i hope that -- let me ask you in terms of religion. of the people who are here, of the people who are coming, we know that the christian community in syria, and in iraq, and in that part of the world, has been targeted for most of us would consider to be genocide. they take the christians out, and they just massacre them. now there are other muslims that get sunnis and shiites kill each other. that's clear. but, it's pretty hard to miss the fact that the christian community in that part of the world has been targeted for extinction. should we not then try to prioritize so that we take care of those people who are targeted for extinction, rather than just people who are caught up in a horrible situation? >> all right. three very quick points. one is that the muslim men going to europe, some of them are trying to avoid being drafted
into assad's regime, into his army. and so i'm very sympathetic to them for that. second, europe is, in history, primarily christian. but today, there are a lot of muslims already living throughout europe. i assure you, congressman. and then third, we do agree with you that the christian community is being targeted. and particularly by isil. and as the high commissioner reminded me today, the ones who are most targeted, the most vulnerable are the yazidi who are not christian and are considered therefore not of the book and are therefore even more miserably treated and murdered, and raped. so we agree with you that this qualifies the refugees who have fled because they're christians or other ethnic or religious
minorities, as particularly vulnerable. and it does help them put their case together. that they should be particularly helped. and -- >> i would hope -- >> in the united states. >> i would hope that we give priority to christians, and other people who have been actually targeted for their faith, and also let me know about whatever we have to say about assad trying to murder those people, who would create a more democratic syria, he did offer safe haven to christians for a long time, and that's at least one thing that we need to recognize. if christian community in the middle east is, indeed, being targeted for genocide, we need to understand that, we need to target that. we need to act with that part of the assumption of how we're going to handle this great humanitarian crisis. that we now face in the middle east. thank you for doing your part. god bless you. >> thank you so much, mr. rohrabacher. mr. rodriguez, i wanted you to have another opportunity to walk us through the vetting process.
this hearing is being broadcast to c-span3 and then they will view it -- they will run it a few more times, so maybe some -- some in the television audience have not had a chance, because they just plugged in now, to talk about, to hear you talk about how the vetting process that you have in place, how secure you feel that is. how comfortable you feel that there is the existing security screening process that we have, is able to identify potential extremists, and threats to the united states. if you could walk us through that process about what your department is doing? >> thank you, chairwoman, for that opportunity. and undersecretary richard actually did a very nice job of walking through the broader process, which, of course,
starts with the first encounter with the united nations high commissioner on refugees. then they go to resettlement contractor that works with the department of state. that begins the first part, two of the first critical parts of the vetting process, which is unhcr self-conducts an interview of the individual in order to determine whether they're stating a refugee claim. that's where information that we receive, and then later on becomes part of our interview process. the biographic checks, based on the pedigree information, if you will, that's given to us by the applicant's refugee status, are tested against three important databases. first is the consular lookout database which is maintained by the state department and essentially describes people who've been encountered during the consular process. in some places we look to the fbi to give us something called
the security advisory opinion, which again looks to a series of sources that are both law enforcement and intelligence sources, most critically from this particular population is the third of the data bases which i mention which is the interagency check. that interagency check queries against the number of law enforcement and intelligence sources in the community that's working in partnership, national security council, the national counterterrorism center, the state department, us, we are in a constant process of thinking about how we further strengthen those sources. not just to vet syrians, but to vet anybody else, be it iraqis, be it afghans, somalis, as the case might be. as i indicated before that process just in the syrian case
has identified 30 individuals who just as part of that process were identified as having derogatory history. were denied admission at that point. we then get to the point where our officers cult the interviews. by the time they're doing that they have the benefit of the interview that's already been conducted by the high commissioner. they have the results of these chats. but very critically, they have not only their own deep understanding of the country conditions about which they have been briefed prior to deployment, but they also have their experience in interviewing individuals. and so, through that they also gain a lot of depth of understanding of what makes sense. of what adds up. what's credible. and so through that process, they're making decisions about whether people will, in fact, move to the next stage, or whether, in fact, there is a problem with the account they're giving. sometimes that problem could be a contradiction between what they're saying during the screening interview and what
they told the high commission. sometimes it can be that the information they're give something completely inconsistent with the country conditions as we know them. and by the way, the information that we gather we often nominate that information to be part of intelligence databases because we get information that is then used to deepen our understanding of what's going on, whether it's in syria, or somewhere else. and, of course, that then fortifies the work that we're doing in the future. is the process risk free? there is no risk free process. are we doing the absolute best that we can practically with the resources? are we giving our folks the best training we can give them? are we using the best intelligence resources that we can get our hands on? and the answer to that is absolutely yes. >> thank you very much. ms. richard and mr. staal, i
wanted to give you an opportunity in case you had any concluding statements that you would like to make. >> you know, you'll notice that we all said that we're able to do this with the bipartisan support of congress. and we actually say that to people in other country's, too and explain to them no matter what they hear about washington, this program actually has benefited year in and year out by bicameral, bipartisan support. and it's my desire to keep it that way. and i appreciate both of you sticking this out to the end here. and your help to help us to keep it that way. because, i think there is a risk that as we bring more people and as there's more press attention to the program, and attention during a presidential campaign season that people could start misinterpreting the goals of this. this is an american program. it's a fine american administration. i think most americans should take pride in both our overseas humanitarian endeavors and our domestic ones.
so thank you in advance for the help you're giving us with your colleagues, to continue the strong support we get. thank you very much. >> thank you to all of you for the great work you're doing, mr. staal? >> yes, thank you very much for holding this hearing, and also for identifying that it's not only the syrians themselves who are suffering, but the countries in the region, and the importance of maintaining their stability, but also their ability to absorb these additional refugees, and people and that's a critical part of the resources that you provide us. not only the humanitarian side, but even the development dollars are providing assistance to this crisis. and of course at the end of the day though, no matter how much we do on the humanitarian side that's not going to resolve the problem. that's not even going to stop people from going to europe. it's resolving the political issues. and getting the solution there,
and that's what we all hope for. thank you very much. >> amen. thank you very much. we look forward to having you back with us in a few months' time so you can update us on the progress you have made. thank you very much. and with that, our subcommittee is adjourned. thank you. it tsa administrator and other homeland security officials testify in a hearing on airport security this
morning. watch it live at 10:00 a.m. eastern. the house rules committee considers hundreds of potential amendments to a bill on a transit bill. watch it live today at 3:00 p.m. eastern. deputy defense secretary bob work delivered the keynote address yesterday at a defense strategy and policy summit hosted by defense one. afterward he was asked questions about defense one global business reporter marcus weisber ger and the audience. this is about half an hour. please welcome back to the stage global business reporter of defense one, mr. weisberger. >> all right, good afternoon, everybody. this is the last session of the day, so thank you all for coming. considering our theme for the day has been the age of everything, i think it's real
fitting that deputy defense secretary robert work is our final keynote speaker because he runs everything at the pentagon. he was here with us last year and he's back again speaking on behalf of defense secretary ash carter who is over in korea today. now part of my job is to keep a pulse on what foreign militaries and defense firms are approaching the future. after more than ten years of dealing with counter insurgency we're seeing companies focus more on their research and development in weaponry and stuff that was more fit for the past decade. secretary work has closely watched those areas as he searches to give american forces an edge through his offset
strategy. we've seen an uptick in companies merging and acquiring one another culminating with lockheed martin and that prompted the pentagon to take the rare stance of speaking out against it in a way and less competition for major weapons. so we've talked a lot about the budget today and the pentagon finally has some budget a surety and assuredness. i'm sure we'll hear a lot about that from bob work. [ applause ] >> i'm shocked to find out i am responsible for everything in the pentagon. whoa. but good afternoon, everybody. it's great to be here again.
since this is the end of the day and you've had a lot of different speakers, i'll give you a 10 to 15 minute overview and have the remainder of my time for questions. and it's pretty simple. i can't see here. okay. measured in the number of people, the size of our budget, the size of our capital account, the depth of where we operate in the world, the department of defense is without a doubt the largest and most complex global corporation on the planet. now we have a very, very simple mission, to organize, train and equip a joint force that is ready for war and operated forward to preserve the peace. so how do we accomplish this very simple, straightforward mission in the age of everything? well, we do it like we've always done. we try to take the ends of our foreign policy and our supporting national security
strategy, balance them with the resources or the means that are made available to us by our national leaders, and we try to come up with the best balance between what we have to do in the world to accomplish our mission with the resources available. now i hope what you have heard today is this balancing act is becoming far more difficult. the ends as well as the means. now my view the cold war end ed on may 12, 1989, that's when president bush announced from a programmatic perspective the department of defense would no longer view containment as a lens through which we would build our defense program. and that changed everything in the department. the white house largely
resourced grand strategy to the pentagon from that point over forward in my view. started thinking more regionally. the strength was enormous. our strategic action was largely unfettered. we worried about three contingencies at the time, a resurgent iraq, and a north korean invasion of south korea. three scenarios that motivated defense planning. the what if, if any of those occurred. it was primarily about proliferation of wmd, weapons of mass destruction. we didn't really worry too much of any of those three regional competitors.
so far ahead in what was called the revolution of military affairs but essentially because we were way ahead in the application of conventional guided munitions in the battle networks that employed them. we didn't worry at all about whether we could prevail against these three regional contingencies. in fact, by 2001 we had a planning metric called 103030. in which we assume that we could seize the initiative against a competitor or adversary and swiftly defeat them within 30 days. take 30 days for a parade and repeat it again in a different theater. in other words, by 2001, we were so confident in the overwhelming military capacity and capability of the department of defense that we would be able to win two conventional wars within 90
days. now since 2001, there's been a c change. in terms of historical period, you look back -- we will look back from 2001 to 2015 and say, wow, what a change. over that 14 to 15 years, the capacities and capabilities of our closest allies uniformly started to decline. and the capabilities and capacities of our potential competitors all began to rise. rather dramatically. now my bosh, ash carter, likes to say we used to have three contingencies we would worry about. by this time it was iran, china, and north korea. now we have to worry about a potential contingency with russia, an article v defense of our nato allies. we go from three contingencies
to four contingencies in three short years and now have a condition, a global counter terrorist campaign which is increasingly defined by fighting against isil. in the middle east and northern africa and western africa. so we've gone from three contingencies to four contingencies and one condition. and then on top of that, we worry about global pandemics as witnessed last year when the president ordered the united states military to be the leading edge of the international response against ebola. we also worry about the potential destabilizing effects of climate change. we worry about cyber attacks on the homeland. all of these problems are interconnected. now from a military point of view, there's four conditions that are totally different. than 25 years ago. one, almost all the combat power
of the united states is resident on u.s. territory, either in the continental united states or in alaska, hawaii, guam. the amount of forces we have based overseas in a ready to fight condition are much lower than we had in the cold war. so that's one big difference. that means instead of thinking about forward defense, we think about more of a transoceanic defense in which we're swinging forces quickly from theater to theater. and what that means is that if an add vversary does want to attack, they can generally pick the time and place of their own choosing and will have an initial advantage in forces. second, our adversaries are now gaining parity with us in guided munitions warfare that has given us a tactical advantage for the past 25 years. and that means that they can throw guided munition salvos as far and as dense as we can which
means it's harder for our transoceanic movement to get into a theater. that's the so-called anti-access problem, and once you get there, you are subject to immediate attack by a wide riot of guided munitions that will hit the targets they're fired at. that is the so-called area denial threat, the third thing that is different is now you have to assume that you are going to be under intense cyber and electronic warfare attack from the time you move. that's much, much different than in the cold war. and, fourth, we used to say we fight away games and the department of homeland security and northern command, they fight the home game. but in this environment with large state competitors with advanced capabilities, the distinction between home and away games is start iing to blu
because as we push forces across the ocean, you can be sure our adversaries may be thinking about ways to attack the homeland to forestall or deter our advance. so going from three continue genesis to four plus one plus this difference in the environment, and if you think about it from an overall view, here's the big deal. a great power is defined as a state that can take on the dominant power and conventional warfare as a nuclear arsenal that can survive a first strike. we now have two great powers in the world. one is a diminishing great power, russia, and one is a rising great power, china. whenever you have to think about great powers, you have to rethink grand strategy. it is an era -- the era of everything is the era of grand strategy. and it is taking all the ins of what we have to do and balancing
with our means. as you all know, we just got a budget deal. we now know for certainty what our budget resources allocated to the department of defense are going to be for the next two years. that's a good thing. we applaud this. it is something that we have been waiting for for quite some time. and as secretary carter has said, we crave stability because in the age of everything, trying to balance between these demands of the ends with this constant resource uncertainty is keeping it -- is keeping us from creating a coherent program that stands the test of time. we're not done yet. this is the seventh year in a row we've had continuing resolution. 93% of every first quarter we've been under continuing resolution for the past six years. that means the department of defense now is operating on a nine-month fiscal year.
it is totally unsatisfactory. we cannot continue this. so we applaud what congress has done, coming together in a bipartisan nature, coming up with a budget deal that gives us clarity for two years. but that's just the first step in our view. you cannot see the rise and the ends the department of defense are being asked to do and the resource levels that we have had to contend with for the past three to four years. so i told everybody, you've probably heard me say this before, how do you sleep at night? i sleep like a baby. i wake up crying every two hours. and this is a time, the age of everything is a time, as i said, of grand strategy, of trying to step back. the first rule of strategy is all resources are scarce.
you must make prioritization within your budget. and that is what secretary carter has charged us to do in the fiscal year and the pbr, the presidential budget review, for '17 and which will be reflected by our budget commission in september. so hopefully at the end of the day you have a sense on the growing pressure in terms of the ends and the fact that our resources while steady for the next two years we all hope that there will be a serious debate in the upcoming presidential election on what is the long-term solution after this two-year budget deal on better balancing the end and the means. and with that, i look forward to your questions for the next 15 or so minutes.
and so, marcus? thanks. do you want to sit over here? >> thank you, again, secretary work. the questions we're going to have people with microphones running around, i will ask one to get us started, and that's going to be on the theme of the budget deal. what does it do for you immediately? how does it help you and you said it will inform the way you look at '17. are we going to start to see more of a shift toward high-end combat stuff involving russia like we have in the past like prior budgets didn't take that into account as much? a noticeable shift in that area? >> let me take the second part first.
the department of defense, the most horrendous thing we can possibly do is have a conventional armed conflict against a great power or a big state. those are the things with the highest risk and the absolute most impact on the global system. so what the secretary has asked us to do is make sure our conventional deturnt against these large state competitors is rock solid. that we can assure the president that we are as strong, as ready, as capable as we can be and that we demonstrate these capabilities on a routine basis to underline our conventional deterrence. and so that's the first thing that we will look to do. knowing that we have this condition that we cannot ignore in the middle east. so it's kind of a bi-polar type approach. now what the budget deal does for us immediately is on '16
it's a reasonable target for us to hit. we do not expect -- we don't expect the budget deal to be signed until about the 11th of december. so we'll be through the first quarter of fiscal year and, again, we'll start our nine-month fiscal year. if '16 had been a big delta in what we had been planning, that would have been extremely disruptive. and we're happy to say that it's within reach. so we don't expect '16 to be a huge, major disruption. it's going to be harder in '17, without question. we calculate it will be about a $14 billion delta in that given year than what we had planned. that's going to be a harder target to hit and we're working through that right now. the big thing, we no longer have to worry about fighting for '16 and worrying about 17. we know both '16 and '17 we'll be able to say here are the decisions we'll have to make and we can get on with our lives.
all right, questions? >> sydney freedburg. >> hello, sydney. >> breaking defense.com. on that subject of conventional deterrence, how is that offset strategy going? i know you're deep in the throes of looking at new technology and tactics and concepts, but are you finding any interesting stuff that's triggering your mind and the minds of your colleagues into ways we can better deter and prevail without having to go to jail, that is. >> well, i assume that the term offset strategy has been used today, and was it explained? >> i'm not sure it was explained. >> the united states has never tried to match our potential
adversaries tank to tank, ship to ship, airplane for airplane. it's looked for technical and operational offsets, a way in which we do not have to do that but we can still underline our nuclear -- excuse me, our conventional deterrence. in the 1950s, the first offset strategy when president eisenhower came aboard, he asked for the planning figures, and we would have required 92 nato divisions to assure a conventional deterrent against a warsaw pac attack against europe. the president said there's no way we can afford to build 92 divisions. so the offset strategy we determined was tactical nuclear weapons. as a matter of policy and military strategy and tactics, we were going to employ tactical nuclear weapons early and often to forestall a soviet conventional invasion. now by the 1970s, the soviet union had achieved nuclear
parity. it could in longer underwrite our conventional deterrence with the threat of tactical nuclear weapons because the threat of escalating up the nuclear ladder was just too high. we had two choices. and this was brought by long-range research and development programming. here are the choices, you can try to make nuclear weapons more usable, neutron bombs, selectable yields, all of these things. or, you can go after conventional weapons with what was then called near zero miss, which we now call precision guided munitions. and the calculation was you can't make nuclear weapons more usable. you simply cannot do that. you always will risk a nuclear exchange if you do so, so the united states in 1975 made a conscious national decision to go after conventional guided munitions, the battle networks
that would employ them and a whole bunch of other supporting things like stealth. the third offset -- because the first and second offsets only had one competitor you had to fight against. now we have four we have four d potential competitors that we worry about plus we have this condition of transnational regional terrorism that we have to really worry about. it makes it more difficult. we also had a very steady, very stable competitive long-term competition with the soviet union. most of the information or innovations were coming out of the united states and were coming out of the department of defense when it came to defense things. now all of the innovation is global in scope and it's being run by commercial. commercial sector driven. this is much more like the inner-war period where everybody knew there was radios, everyone knew there were tanks -- i mean
mecanisation. this is going to be a very competitive environment. it's going to be ripe for technological surprise. what we're trying to do in the third offset is to figure out how do we set ourselves up for this very competitive long-term environment and how do we make sure we can have eadvantages? what we're planning on doing is what can we do to get an advantage for the next five to ten years and then immediately start working on theed avan t a that would give us an edge in the next five to ten. i can't give you exactly what the third offset is yet. the secretary will be talking about it here soon. you will see when we roll out the budget in february the technological and operational bets that we're making to
preserve our conventional edge. >> questions? >> given the increasing importance of the cyber security and the cyber warfare and given the fact which leads to the civilian side we are basically losing the battle against the bad actors in ipv four stack, what is the plan for dod in terms to deploy ipv six, which is required -- prerequisition for iot and the future -- to support the future of the internet? thank you. >> well, i think you all know what a challenge cyber warfare is causing us. at all levels. at the strategic level because it's a means of homeland attacks that we have never had to deal
with before. at the operational level, at the campaign level. it has an amazing impact on being able to get into your adversary systems and blinding them, things like that, and have an affect on a way a campaign might play out. the tactical level, the ukrainians found out the russians now use electronic warfare and cyber at the tactical leave toll gain enormous tactical advantage. so cyber is playing out on all these levels. let me just say what our national policy is. we are trying to strengthen our cyber deterrents. there are three components to that. the first from dod is to make sure that our networks are secure. our own networks are secure. and you are seeing that. you will see a bunch of different investments on what we're doing. we're moving, for example, from over -- i can't remember the exact number, but i will use --
i will try to use the order of magnitude, 1,000 defendable firewalls to less than 200. all sorts of different cyber culture training to improve the hygiene of our networks. hardening our networks. making sure that our networks can fight through an attack. the second component is taking a look at the national critical infrastructure, things like our electronic -- electrical grid. you know, water control, things like that. the networks and ics systems, making sure those are as hardened as we can be. the third one is to have a means by which for offensive cyber capability which would deter attacks upon us. we are in no way, shape or form fully developed our theories on deterrents here. it's the wild west. a lot of cyber activity is espionage and is very difficult to establish norms for
espionage. generally, if you ain't cheatin', you ain't tryin' in espionage. if you can get inside somebody's network and you can get data, that's a great thing from your perspective. it's not very good from the people who get their -- has that data taken. we have a lot of work do in this. you mentioned the internet of things. that makes it even more difficult when potential adversaries might be able to take over vehicles or ships or airplanes. so this is an area in which we have a lot of attention. and it's being -- i mean -- i believe i -- i can assure you it's from the president on down. we are looking at this very, very hard. >> time for one more. >> hello, deputy secretary work. considering the complexity of
the budgetary process and appropriations, what do you foresee as a way for the type of innovation that takes place in the private sector in the united states to be -- have a convergence of technology to provide solutions to those challenges faces the department of defense? >> this is a great question. it's something that secretary carter has been paying a lot of attention to. as he said in the op-ed for this event, he believes there are too many barriers around the department of defense and that ideas are not penetrating as freely as he would hope they would. and he recognizes after coming -- after spending a year in silicon valley of the vibrant innovation that's going on there. so he has reached out and has started an awful lot of different initiatives. one is the defense innovation unit experimental. it's an experimental unit in silicon valley to provide a point of partnership for the big
innovation engines inside the valley, for them to come to the department of defense and say, we have a solution to some of your problems and for us to go to them and say, we have a problem, do you have any solutions for us. we are experimenting with the incutel model. this gets us in with the venture capital community. we a $10 million pilot project going on right with them. hopefully, that will be able to spur even more innovation. we started the long-range research and development and planning program. that is under the cog any answer is of the secretary of defense for research and engineering. and they are trying to look at different innovative ideas and really try to change the paradigm so that we can become more nimble in this very, very
competitive environment. we have something that's unique in the world. it's called a strategic capabilities office. this is an office that looks at weapons and platforms that we have in existence right now and says, how do you use them differently to really change the way they operate and provide affects? i know of no other organization in the world that does this. in february, we will be able to explain some of the things that we're doing. some of the things we won't. if you look back, we know say, stealth was part of the second offset. it certainly was. but we didn't announce -- we didn't show anything about stealth until 1989. in other words, we kept that as a black program, because we thought that the advantage is provided us was so great. so there will be parts just like that when we submit our budget, there will be parts you will see. there will be other things that we want to keep quiet.
it's the combination of demonstrating capabilities, working with the defense industrial base, which has a lot of innovation, working with the venture capital community, working with the commercial enterprises and really trying to become much, much more nimble and much, much more capable of creating these new operational concepts and offsets that will give us an advantage over time. this type of a forum, i want to applaud marcus and defense one for setting it up. as the secretary says, the department of defense, the five-sided box called the pentagon, does not have all the answers. this an age of everything in which problems are connected in ways that we have never really had to deal with before. and require thought from everyone across the united states. so it is our intent to try to patch in and touch all of the
good ideas that are going on and, hopefully, see our way through an era which is quite challenging in terms of balancing our earnnds and means. thank you for everything you do for our nation. thank you, marcus, for having this summit. i wish you all the best of luck. god bless. >> thank you, secretary work. [ applause ] now live to capitol hill for a hearing on airport security and the transportation security administration. tsa administrator peter neffenger who took over in july is expected to testify this morning regarding security lapses that he cited during the summer. a 96% failure rate spotting weapons and explosives in a test conducted by homeland security experts. john roth and jennifer grover of the government accountability
>> the committee on oversight and government reform will come to order. without objection the chair is authorized to declare a recess at any time. appreciate the participants today on an important topic that we need to have vigilant oversight on. dealing with the tsa and the security gaps in a critical part of our culture. 9/11 commission concluded in their report, quote, the most important failure was one of imagination. we do not believe leaders understood the gravity of the threat, end quote. that report underscored the need for government leaders to do a better job of preparing for security threats that can only
now be imagined. it's no secret that people interested in harming america are coming up with creative ways to circumvent the existing security measures. the battle for aviation security is fought daily by the thousands of men and women who serve in the tsa's work force. every day, 2 million passengers and nearly 440 airports across the country depend on tsa to help hold the line and keep them safe. it's why passenger screenings are so important. state-of-the-art screening technologies are not necessarily the magic bullet. there's also a human component and other methods and things that are used throughout the world that we should be paying attention to and implements ourselves. all aspects of passenger screening process, including luggage and carry-ones must be working in concert. it's a vital part of what we do to protect this nation and thus the hearing today. i would like now to yield time to the former chairman of the transportation infrastructure
committee, the chairman of our subcommittee here, mr. mica of florida. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and our ranking member and our witnesses today. having been around since we formed tsa and one of the original authors of the legislation, 14 years behind us. unfortunately, we don't have much progress and success of the major purpose that we set out for. and that was to make certain that we are safe and secure and that we have a system of particularly passenger and baggage screening that ensures that for the traveling american public. now, you heard what i just
commented on. the goa report from this week just confirms that and just about every area of operations. we will hear if a few minutes from the inspector general. and on page 3 is sort of a summary. he says, our most recent covert testing in september 2015, the failures included -- this is tsa failures included failures in the technology, failures in tsa procedures and human error. we found layers of security simply missing. it would be misleading to minimize the rigor of our testing or to imply our testing was not accurate reflection of the affectedness of the totality of aviation security. that is very alarming. this report is very alarming. where we have come -- back from
2007, some information leaked on this was in this reporting from "usa today" that screeners failed 75% of the time in finding dangerous materials and items that posed a threat 75% of the time, with 30,000 screeners. we're now at 46,000 screeners and most recently we've had this leak where the failure rate had been as high, and this is a report publically obtained of 95% failure. i think we need a complete overhaul. i think we need to address risk. i think we're hassling 99% of the people who pose no risk and still have no means of differentiating. we need to get tsa out of the screening business. they will never be able to
recruit. they will never be able to retrain. they will never be able to retain. they will never be able to manage. but what they should be able do is set the standards. we have private screening under federal supervision for a host of other activities. highly secure nuclear facilities, our dod facilities and other facilities. we let the private sector do what it does best. we set the parameters and then we audit and we make the changes. because, again, i don't care what i hear today, i'm convinced that you cannot fix a system that will continue to fail. i yield back. >> thank the gentleman. the administrator along with the thousands of people who serve in the tsa need to own the system. and if problems arise, then they must be attended to swiftly and appropriately. but we also ask that they work in a pro active way so those
threats are mitigated prior to getting to the airplane and certainly prior to getting on an airplane. look forward to the testimony today. we will now recognize the ranking member, mr. cummings. >> thank you very much for holding today's very important hearing. let me welcome mr. roth, the inspector general. it's good to have you here again on this very critical issue. i also welcome miss grover from the government accountability office, which does a very important and excellent work for the committee on this and many other topics. i also want to welcome administrator neffenger. when i served as the subcommittee maritime and transportation, i admired mr. neffenger's technical expertise and steady, determined leadership he brought to the coast guard's most significant challenges.
including dealing with the horrible deep water horizon oil spill. i am sure he remembers how it called the coast guard back again and again and again and again to ensure accountability and every single time you were up to the task. i am so glad you have been chosen for this task. i thank him for his decades of service. i applaud president obama appointing him to this position. which when when it comes to security, we must push to stay ahead of the terrorists and anyone else who would do us harm. we must take nothing for granted. we must test ourselves constantly. and we must put the lessons we learn into urgent action. i've often said that so often we
spend a lot of time talking about testing and how things are going to work when we have an emergency. so often what happens -- we saw this to some degree, mr. neffenger, in deep water horizon. we constantly say, there will come a time when you will see it works when the rubber meets the road. when that moment comes, so often we discover there's no road. above all, we must never become complacent. we must treat every single day as if lives depend on the urgency of our actions because they do. unfortunately, until last spring, it appeared almost routine for senior leaders at the transportation security administration to receive reports of security gaps in the nation's air passenger screening operations. these reports came from the inspector general and goa and specialized red teams at tsa itself.
they described rounds of testing revealing yet more gaps. the question today i believe is whether tsa and the department of homeland security are responding with the urgency this situation demands. as the president often says, are they responding with the urgency of now. based on their actions over the last several months, i believe they are. however, their work is far, far from complete. and it is incumbent on both the agency and this committee to continue our oversight efforts in order to ensure that improvements are put into place. last spring, secretary johnson ordered a comprehensive, top to bottom review of all the tsa's practices and procedures to understand why the agency's performance was falling short of its own standards and our expectations here in congress. it required senior leaders to report to him every two weeks
about the causes of these shortfalls as well as the solutions being implemented to address them. over the summer, tsa developed and began implementing a ten point plan to revamp all aspects of its screening procedures, personnel training processes and equipment maintenance practices. it's clear that the agency has been aggressively working to change its culture. i am very encouraged by the steps at dst and tsa have taken to date. however, we are early in the process. this agency has more than 42,000 employees responsible for ensuring security at about 450 airports. making changes in an agency of this size is not easy. ensuring that these changes are effective and efficient in improving the sae ining the age performance rekwur quires a lonm
effort. they must establish a new baseline with clear and specific metrics to measure performance. this committee must ahold tsa accountable for the achievement of the new metrics. as i close, administrator neffenger, you know about what i'm about to say. just like at the coast guard subcommittee, you should get used to seeing us on a regular basis. this committee's job is to oversee the implementation of tsa's transformation. we're going to be inviting you back again and again because the american people are depending on us to get it right. finally, let me close by noting that the airlines and others also play a critical role in ensuring our security. we need to take a hard look at decisions by the airline industry that are making the tsa's job more difficult. for example, we have learned that the new fees airlines are charging to check bags are causing huge increases in the
volume of carry-on luggage. although this may result in significant new revenues for the airlines, it's also putting significant new strains on our screening operations. i hope you will address that, mr. neffenger. i hope we will have an opportunity to discuss these issues in more detail today. and at future hearings before the committee. i want to be clear, i have full confidence that we will get this right. we have no choice. with that, mr. chairman, i thank you and i yield back. >> thank the gentleman. we will hope the record open for five legislative days for any members who would like to submit a written statement. we will now recognize our panel of witnesses. first we have mr. peter neffenger, administrator of the transportation security administration at the united states department of homeland security. we're joined by the honorable john roth, inspector general of the united states department of homeland security and ms. jennifer grover, director of homeland security and justice at the united states government accountability office. we welcome you all and pursuant
to committee rules, all witnesses are to be sworn before they testify. if you will please rise and raise your right hands. do you solemnly swear or affirm that the testimony you are about to give will be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth? thank you. please be seated. let the record reflect the witnesses all answered in the affirmative. in order to allow time for discussion, we would appreciate it if would you limit your verbal testimony to five minutes. your written statement will be written as part of the record. mr. neffenger, you are now recognized for five minutes. >> good morning. i thank you for the opportunity to testify on my vision for evolving the transportation security administration. my leadership perspective is shaped by more than three decades of military leadership. a statement of admission, clear standards of performance, training and resources that
enable the work force to achieve success and a pursuit of excellence and accountability. i want to thank roth and grover for the oversight they have provided. i want to thank mr. ronl fth fos assessment of our direction. it's a reflection of my vision on how we approach the evolution of tsa. i am four months into the job. i traveled to dozens of airports across the country. i have visited our european partners in the united kingdom, france and the netherlands and met with the airlines, travel industry and airport operators. i have engaged stakeholders in rail across the country and in europe. i have been impressed with thea professionals who occupy our ranks. i have been impressed with the collaboration across the transportation enter are prize and the range of capabilities our federal, state and local partners bring to bear. the systems require that we
examine them and consider them as a whole. we integrate the public and private capabilities to close gaps. that we apply best practices across the enterprise and that we seek global consistency. however, as i have stated in previous hearings on this topic, my immediate priority has been to pursue solutions to the recent covert testing findings which were leaked to the media in this year. we are making significant progress in doing so. the inspector general's tests focused on an element of the aviation security system, specifically the imaging technology capability within the checkpoint. it identified areas for improvement with which we concurred. the system as effective and has gotten stronger as a result of the tests. in response, tsa implemented accountability, improve alarm resolution, increase effectiveness and strengthen
procedures. we have implemented secretary johns johnson's plan. to ensure we don't repeat past failures of utmost concern from my perspective was determining root causes of the problem. our conclusion is that the screening effectiveness challenges were not merely an officer performance problem, nor were they afailure of the advanced imaging technology. the ait has enhanced our ability to detect threats and continues to perform to expected standards when deployed and used properly. as we look at the people, processes and technologies, strong drivers of the problem include leadership focus, environmental influences and gaps in system design and processes. there was pressure to clear passengers at the risk of not resolving alarms. our analysis revealed officers did not fully understand the capability of the equipment. we have trained our officers to understand and use equipment properly. we have corrected our
procedures. solutions require a renewed procedures, realistic training and new balance between effectiveness and efficiency and support for our front line officers. we will continue to partner with the airlines, airport operates and the trade and travel industry to identify solutions that can reduce the stress on the checkpoint. we must resource tsa appropriately. we have begun that process. i can report that we have an approach in place designed to correct the problems while ensuring this doesn't happen again. our mission essentials training conducted with every front line officer across tsa has helped reset our focus on security effectiveness and we have enhanced their understanding of the screening system. longer term, our self examination has given insight into how we evolve. we face a turning point in tsa.
we need to measure security to drive an institutional focus. what we measure is what our leaders and officers will pay attention to. our approach needs to be adaptive and risk based, reassessing assumptions, plans and processes. we must be able to field new ways of operating. we must rethink how we invest in technology. our adversaries remain intent on attacking the transportation sector. our investment must exceed the speed of the enemy's ability to evolve. we must deliver a system and earn the confidence of the traveling public through performance and professionalism. i commit to you that we will pursue these objectives. i want to assure you tsa is up to the challenges we face. we are on the front lines after critical counterterrorism fight and our work force is willing and able to do the job. thank you for the opportunity to appear today. i look forward to your
questions. >> thank you. inspector general roth, you are now recognized for five minutes. >> thank you. good morning, chairman, ranking member -- >> if could you bring the microphone -- that would be great. >> my apologies. good morning, chairman chaffetz, ranking member cummings and members of the committee. i have testified before this committee and others regarding my concerns about tsa's ability to execute its important mission. i highlighted the challenges tsa faced. i testified that the challenges were in almost every area of tsa's operations. it its management of the pre-check program, failures in checking in passenger checkpoint and bag anl screening operations. control over access to secure areas including management of access badge program. management of work force intel ritty program. oversight of its acquisition and maintenance and screening equipment and other issues we
have discovered in the course of over 115 audit and inspection reports. we may be in a very different place now than we were in may when i last testified about this before the committee. i believe that administrator neffenger brings with him a new attitude about oversight, ensuring transportation safety a complex problem. there's no silver bullet to solve it. it will take a sustained effort. the first step to fixing a problem is having the courage to critically assess the deficiencies in an honest life. creating a culture of change and giving the tsa work force the ability to identify and address the risks will be theed aminute straight are's most krill cal and challenging task. i believe the department and tsa leadership has begun the process of self-evaluation and aided by the work force of tsa are in a position to begin addressing some of the issues. in september, we completed and distributed our report on our
most recent round of covert testing. while i cannot talk about the specifics in this setting, i am able to say that we conducted the audit with sufficient rigger to satisfy our auditing standards and the tests were conducted without any specialized knowledge or training. the test results were disappointing and troubling. we ran multiple tests running different concealment efforts at eight airports including large airports and airports using private screeners. the results were consistent. our testing was designed to test checkpoint operations in real word conditions. the failures included technology, tsa procedures and human error. the department's response to our most recent findings has been swept. for example, within 24 hours of receiving preliminary results of testing, the secretary summoned seen overtsa leadership and directed a plan of action be created to correct deficiencies.
tsa has put forward a plan consistent with our recommendations to improve checkpoint quality in three areas. technology, personnel and procedures. this plan is appropriate because the checkpoint must be considered as a single system. the most effective technology is useless without the right personnel. and the personnel needed to be guided by the appropriate procedures. unless all three are operating effectively, the checkpoint will not be effective. we will be monitoring tsa's efforts and will continue to conduct covert testing. consistent with our obligations, we will report our results to this committee as well as other committees of jurisdiction. i believe that this episode serves as an illustration of the value of the office of inspector general. particularly when coupled with the leadership that understands and appreciates objective and independent oversight. this review like dozens of reviews before it was possible oefrnl because my office and my auditors had unfettered access to the information we needed.
i believe i speak for the entire ig community in expressing my gratitude to this committee for lenggislation pending in the house, the inspector general empowerment act of 2015. this legislation would fix the misguided attempt by the department of justice to restrict access to records and would restore ig independence and empower them to conduct the independent and thorough oversight that taxpayers expect and deserve. this legislation would improve and streamline the way we do business. for example, my written testimony gives an example of the results we could obtain from data matching which the legislation would streamline. mr. chairman, this concludes my prepared statement. i welcome any questions you or other members of the committee may have. >> thank you. director grover, we're pleased to have you here with us today. you are now recognized for five minutes. >> good morning, chairman
chaffetz. in the past six years, goa has made 80 recommendations to tsa. tsa has concurred with nearly all of them and has taken action to address most of them. in fact, tsa has fully implemented more than three-quarters. yet every year our reports continue to find vulnerabilities in the system, many related to questions of security effectiveness. why is that? our body of work over the past several years shows that tsa has consistently fallen short in basic program management in several aspects. three shortcomings stand out. first, failing to fully and riggously evaluate the effectiveness of new technologies and programs. second, not establishing performance measures that fully reflect program goals. and third, failing to use program data to identify areas
for improvement. there are many reports that illustrate the short falls in each area. i will provide one example for each. first, tsa should fully evaluate effectiveness prior to adoption to ensure acquisitions and programs work and to make sure that monies are well spent. in one example, in a review of tsa's body scanning technology, known as ait, we found that tsa evaluated this system in the laboratory for a fekiveness but had no addressed our airport screeners were using the systems in airport environment. if airport screeners don't carry out pat-downs properly to follow up on potential threats and we know that this is an ongoing challenge, then the effectiveness of the overall screening will be diminished. a related issue is that when tsa is designing studies of effectiveness, it's critical they follow established study design practices to make sure
that the results that they get at the end of the day are valid. tsa has struggled with this. in one example from 2013, we found that a dhs study of behavioral detection did not do this. my second point is that tsa should adopt performance measures that reflect program goals to make sure that the programs are operating as intended after they have been stood up. as an example, in 2014, we found that tsa did not have performance measures to determine the extent to which the secure flight program accurately identified passengers on the no-fly selectee and other watch lists. one of the program's key goals. my third point is that tsa should put systems in place to monitor the data it collects in order to identify areas for improvement. as an example, in 2013, we found that tsa officials collected data on the effectiveness of
their k-9 program but were only considering overall pass and fail rates. tsa was missing the opportunity to determine if they were specific search area or types explosives in which they were more or less effective and to identify training needed to mitigate deficiencies. tsa is consistently responsive to goa's recommendations. tsa has addressed at least to some degree most of the examples i just mentioned. for example, tsa has modified its ait testing to more fully evaluate effectiveness and has implemented new procedures to analyze k-9 testing data. in addition, tsa is in the process of testing its behavior detection activities and developing new secure flight performance measures. but addressing goa's findings one by one will not solve the underlying problem of an
organizational culture that has allowed programs to be stood up without sufficient evidence of their effectiveness. it is critical that tsa systematically address the cross-cutting program management weaknesses that i just described. through well-designed evaluations of their programs and acquisitions, and continuing reliance on appropriate performance measures that allow them to monitor key program goals over time, tsa would be well positioned to achieve longstanding improvements in aviation security effectiveness and other operations. chairman chaffetz, ranking member cummings, this concludes my statement. i look forward to your questions. >> we thank you. we will now move to the question portion. we will start by recognizing the gentleman from florida, mr. mica, for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman and ranking member. administrator, pleased to have you aboard.
you come aboard when there's been unprecedented amount of criticism and findings of failure with your agency. and i know you are very intent. i had a chance to talk to you on trying to improve things and correct these things. but i think what -- again, looking at this over 14 years and our objective, our objective is to keep the american people safe. and your statement i guess and the statements we have had, you screen 660 million passengers last year i guess it was. yeah. what percentage of those folks actually pose a risk? that's got to be less than 1%. would you agree with that? >> a very small percentage. >> a very small percentage. but most of our resources are spent on building a bureaucracy.
there's over $2.3 billion on tsa bureaucracy to manage the 46,000 screeners that congress has put a cap on. we have actually seen a failure rate disclosed publically with from 30,000 screeners to 46,000 screeners where things have gotten worse. you stated in your testimony, there are a number of actions that have been completed, including the following, requiring screening leadership at each airport operations and training and things of that sort. i'm telling you, even when you get this done, you've just -- you have created a system that doesn't address the risk. your chances of failure are almost 100% with the current system, even with the training that you employ.
i can thwart the ait machines. it took me two years to get tsa to look at the ait machines. you don't know the history of that. i knew what we had in place. the puffers didn't work. i knew the threat was there for explosives, and it's still there. you all -- we tried to put a different program to make up for the layers that fail. behavior detection. a billion dollars were spent on behavior detection. we have thousands of officers. here is a report here by the freedom to travel usa. it says, in the airports where it's used, 50,000 travellers have been flagged. zero of these are terrorists. 60 known terrorists passed through the detegs behavior on 24 occasions. my point is that you need to get out of the personnel business, back into the security business.
turning tsa back into doing the things that will save us, the intelligence gathering, setting the parameters for someone else. you are not a very good personnel agency, nor will you be. the recruitment is horrible. the training is horrible. the retention is horrible. it just goes on and on. again, no matter what you do, if you don't address the risk and put our resources -- we should be putting our resources -- every instance in which we have stopped them has been first the public. the public, since 9/11, since that morning when they found out on flight 93, they attacks those terrorists and took them down. richard reed, it was the crew and passengers that stopped him. the liquid bombers, they woke me up in texas and told me about that. that was british and israeli intelligence.
it's got to be our intelligence that saves the day, refocusing that, get you out of the personnel business, back into the security business. addressing that 1%. what is scary is the 1%, no-fly list, we still don't have that right according to some of the folks who have testified, some of the evidence that i have seen. again, i don't mean to give you a hard time. but i think please consider this. i sat -- when we devised this system with the head of -- i told you this story of maximum security facilities. when you go into those, you get body cavity searches. they told me, even with that -- which you are not going to do to 659 million americans, this stuff still gets through, drugs, weapons. again, i look forward to your
response. you don't have to give it today. i think if we change that, get you out of the personnel business, into the security business, that's the best use of our resources. mr. chairman, i would like to put this report in the record, if i may. it's a freedom to travel usa tsa failures by the numbers. i think it's very enlightening. >> without objection, so ordered. we will now recognize the gentleman from virginia. >> i thank the chair. i thank the distinguished ranking member, mr. cummings. administrator neffenger, welcome. i really welcome your ascension to this office. my confidence in you is reinforced when i read your testimony about the determination of tsa on root causes. you said, the underlying screening effectiveness and technology challenges, you have said, a focus in the past has
been on screening operations efficiency rather than security effectiveness. which is, after all, the mission. would you expand on that? >> thank you, congressman. ace menti as i mentioned, as we looked at root causes -- you do have to look at root causes and try to determine why it is that we saw the same failures repeatedly over time. so when you have an operating agency that observes the same things over and over, it tells me that you haven't figured out what the problem was. so you look at root causes. it goes beyond just whatever happened at the checkpoint that failed. you have to determine what is in your culture and organizational approach. if you recall in the early days, there was a great concern about the wait times. there was a great deal of pressure on tsa to get people through the screening check points faster. there's good reason for that. you don't want people packing up outside the sterile area.
you have to be careful when you inject a concern like that to an organization. what you measure is what you will get for performance. so i really do believe that over time what happened was a great deal of effort to ensure wait types were kept to a minimum, people were pushed through the checkpoint, that puts pressure on the screeners to clear passengers versus resolving the alarms that they present. so in that slight nuance a difference between clearing a passenger versus resolving something that the passenger presents can change the effort you put into looking for that. >> i think it's really important the point you are making. it's very easy bureaucratically to check a box and say, we have improved efficiency 600%. yeah, but that isn't the goal. that's a means toward reaching the goal. keeping one's eye on the mission making the main thing the main thing is really important. i thank you for doing that. mr. roth and/or miss globe grov
there have been more than 25 specific reports in the last five years. the cat list falyst was the scr of covert operations. what did you find? sg . >> the specific results are classified. what we found in a series of tests which took place across the country at different airports of different sizes using a havevariety of items, a disappointing performance by the tsa screening checkpoint. what we look at is the entire screening checkpoint system. it's not just the ait. it's not just the people. it's not just the procedures but how they work together. >> would it be fair to say without compromising security
that some significant breaches occurred? >> yes. >> very troubling. mr. neffenger, presumably, you are aware of those findings? >> yes, i am. >> has the agency taken steps to try to address what mr. roth and his team discovered covertly? >> yes, sir, we have. one of the first things i did -- when this became public, it became confirmation process. i had a chance to meet with mr. roth. i met with mr. roth again after swearing in as administrator, after being confirmed and swearing in. i wanted to understand the exact nature of the failures that occurred, how they were presented so we could begin to address the root causes as you had mentioned earlier. we have put a tremendous amount of effort into not just determining the instant failures but reaching back through the organization to figure out what was going on that brought this
to us. as you may be aware, we have had other such discovers of failures in the past. >> mr. chairman, it may be useful to have a classified briefing where we get fully briefed on that. one final question i will sneak in in my last eight seconds. one of the problems -- you raised it, too -- that has occurred is because it's a lucrative business to charge for baggage, it has forced passengers to compensate by bringing in overhead luggage. this affects your business and yo your mission. could you address that? >> there's more baggage coming through now than there used to be. that baggage is much more packed with gear than it used to be. this is a challenge for anybody to screen it. i know the airlines have been trying to -- trying hard tone force their one plus one rule. sometimes that doesn't take place until you get to the actual loading gate. so multiple bags have come through the checkpoint.
we have been working closely with the airline industry and the airports to see what we can do to reduce some of that stress. but it's a fact of modern life that there's more stuff arriving at a checkpoint than used to arrive. >> now recognize the gentleman from michigan for five minutes. >> thank you. thanks to the panel for being here. i wasn't here in congress when tsa was instituted. i don't have a lot of answers to how do you it. i just know that when i enter the airport in detroit, i go through multiple contacts with multiple agents, including tsa. i would also hasten to say at a meeting like this, while there are concerns and there are problems we have to deal with overwhelmi overwhelmingly, i have been treated well by tsa. even when they didn't know i was a member of congress. the fact of the matter is that
only two incidents can i remember the exact airport where i was not treated well. los angeles and dulles. that says for the most part, your personnel are doing a job i wouldn't want to do are at least attempting to work with -- i want to applaud you for that. we can jump on you, but i think there is also something to say about having an untenable job to do where you have to be right all the time. fortunately, since 9/11, as a result of tsa's efforts and other efforts, including the airlines and passengers, we have not had a downed plane. we want that to continue. but i do want to ask you some questions, mr. neffenger. in our hearing today, you pledged to fix some things. during other public crises, other tsa administrators have pledged to fix things. what will be different this
time? >> thank you for that question. it really goes to what i was saying earlier and that is, when you have -- my experience is, i've been an operator my whole career. i spent 34 years in the united states coast guard. in many respects, a lot of same lairties between the coast guard and tsa in this sense. both are mission based organizations. both have in some respects missions that have a no fail quality to them. both have a distributed front line work force. so my experience, what makes operating agencies challenging and exciting at the same time is, challenging in that you have something you have do every day. that can lead you to simply address the problem in its presentation. by that i mean, you have a failure at a checkpoint. you work with the team at that checkpoint. you work with the team at that airport and you say, you failed.
here is how you failed. don't do it again. that may seem like it fixes the problem, but it really doesn't over time. what you find is that typically, if you have failures like that in a dedicated front line work force -- i appreciate the words had you to say about the work force. it means you have something more systemic going on. it's hard to do that. >> how you monitor the bigger picture? >> i think it starts by recognizing that there is a bigger picture and saying it out loud. that's something i said when first came in. any time you have multiple failures that look the same over time, that means something else is going on. we're going to stop. we're going to look at the entire approach to the organization. how well do we understand our mission? how well have we articulateded that in terms of what it needs to succeed? how well have we deployed the equipment that we think addresses that need? how well have we trained our people to work that equipment? what kinds of processes have we given them and procedures? we found that there were 3,100
independents tests that we expected a screener to memorize. that's impossible. count you can't do that. you have to step back and say, this is about the mission first and foremost. it's about the performance of the mission in an environment in which we have so much at stake. it pays -- you have to look at what's been done by third party independent auditors. i value the work of the goa and the igs because they give me a third party independent assessment of what are some of the challenges. i can use that as a way to go back and begin to dig into the deeper issues in the organization. >> let me add on to what my friend mr. connolly started with you. i think it goes to bigger picture. how will you work with airports, airlines and others to disrupt the incentives that emphasize speed over security? >> i met with a number of
those -- of the -- all of the major airlines in the u.s. as well as their associations and other stakeholders. it start bs by recognizing thiss an interactive system. tsa doesn't work alone inside the aviation system. it works in conjunction with all the other players. everyone has a role to play in the security of the system. it's not simply a handoff and a transaction from one entity in the system to the other. it's a continuous interaction. that interaction requires that they be aware of the challenges that their system imposes upon our responsibilities for security just as we have to be aware of the challenges that our security responsibilities impose on them. i will tell you that they have been very receptive to that. there's more work we can do to connect to the players in the system. i have established a number of regular meetings with my counterparts in the private sector as well as across the system to begin to address what i think are these longstanding
issues that have been -- not necessarily ignored but have not been attended to appropriately. >> thank the gentleman. >> i now recognize ranking member mr. cummingss for five minutes. >> thank you very much. cumming minutes. >> thank you very much. director rover, when you were talking about the problems, i wrote two words. and i wrote the words culture gap. in other words, i think from just listening to you, a culture has been established and i think that culture is in part -- and i want you all to comment on this. i'm just listening and reading. you know, the chairman will tell you when we, in dealing with the coast guard -- not the coast guard but the secret service, one of the things that we worried about was a can culture of complacency. not just people are good people.
but you get used to nobody jumping over the fence at the white house. because everything is going to be all right. so&so what happens is that people get so lulled and it's slow. it is a culture. and then, administrator, when you combine that with with this thing about making sure you get the people through quickly and you put the quickness over the mission, then i think you have a combination for problems. and i think those kind of problems are difficult to address. and i'm trying to figure out, first of all, would you comment on that, ms. grover? >> yes, sir. thank you for the opportunity. tsa was stood up in a culture of
crisis where they had to be responsive and they had to be responsive fast. it is a culture of accountability for effectiveness. tsa definitely is aware of the importance of assuring their programs are effective. and i appreciate administrator neffinger's remarks about enhancing that culture throughout the workforce. but at the end of the day it comes down to a very simple question which is does the program work and how do you know? and no matter how much the staff are educated in the current failures or retrained, no matter how much there is an emphasis on new sops, at the end of the day there has to be measurement, like the administrator said and they have to have a systematic process to follow through the make sure the programs work. that is what lies beneath a strong culture of accountability for effectiveness.
>> you don't know what you just said. i think you just hit the nail quite well. so they started with a culture of emergency. and so everybody -- we've got to make sure we protect ourselves. and then when the emergency seems to wane, you can move into the culture of complacency. we have change our whole dynamic and create a new normal. that is a new normal of accountability. now, you've got a plan, right? you've got a plan? >> yes, sir, i do. >> and implemented by march of 2016? is that right? >> there are a number of steps in that. >> that's what i was going to ask you. what will the status of the screening process be by that date? will it meet peak effectiveness, or will it still be in the
process or improving mode? >> so in answer to that question, let me say i think you have to be in continuous improvement mode. i think you hit it on the head. otherwise, you do go complacent. the day you get the security process right is the day you will be defeated. and i believe that entirely. so this is continuous focus mission and continuous evaluation through key measures. that said, what have we done to address the immediate challenges. retrain the entire front line resource. we called it threat mitigation. i wanted to call it mission essentials for a reason. we have a mission first and foremost. it is truly a new fail mission. to reactivate that desire they exhibited had they said i support the constitution of the
united states. >> how do you do that? how do you do that, what you just said? >> you say it out loud. you say what you do is critical important. i'm going to make sure everything i do is to make sure you succeed at your mission. so i start at the mission and i work backwards. i start with the junior most person that is standing on a screening line. what do i need to do? what does everybody between me and that individual need focused on to make that happen. it is not about me as an individual, making myself look good. it is about every one of us remembering we engage in a higher order. that is surprisingly important for a front line workforce to hear. i learned that in my years in the coast guard. it may seem simple. that's the most powerful thing you can tell somebody.
what you do is important. >> one last comment, mr. chairman. i hope that you took note of what was oversaid. and i hope in your discussions with your staff that you remind them about what she said. one time the culture was about emergency. now it's about accountability. i think that makes a lot of sense. thank you. >> i thank the gentleman. now recognize the gentleman from south carolina, mr. gowdy >> most of us traveling on i regular basis, the airports i use which is spartanburg, charlotte, i have never had anything other than professional
encounters with tsa ever where it wasn't a a plus professionalism. and i don't wear a member pin. don't anybody think it is because they figured out what i do for a living. so i don't think it was for that reason. i think it's tough being in law enforcement, period. i think quite frankly without digressing into a broader conversation. so what i want you to tell me where are your applicants coming from? what is the source of the poor morale other than that you only make the news when something goes wrong. if there is a tsa agent involved in stealing. or if there is a tsa agent does something wrong, that's when you make the news. you don't ever make it for
simple professionalism? where do you draw your applicants from? what is your plan for bolstering morale? >> well, thanks for your question, mr. gowdy. thank you for your good words about our workforce. i will echo the fact that i think the majority of the tsa workfor workforce, particularly the screening, are truly dedicated, responsible and pate on the eubgs americans. they took an oath that had the do a job that many people wouldn't choose to do. what's the source of morale? it is a well defined mission statement. i think we have a clear mission of importance. i don't know that we have clearly defined that to the workforce. to become part of something that's important that means something and that means something to our nation. that's first and foremost.
that's what the military is all about. that's what my experience tells me. then it's having clear and unequivocal standards of performance. and what i mean by that is what causes high morale is? people know they're held to a high standard of performance. and peep who don't meet them aren't going to be part of your workforce anymore. you have to be consistent across the organization. then you have to train them appropriately. train them in not just how to do their job but how to gauge the system. we need to do some work on that score. one of the things we discovered in the course of root cause analysis after the can covert testing failures, we had not explained what the technology capabilities is.
when you connect them, and we never ask working that checkpoint, you have to engage them. the components of morale are important. support to the mission, training to accomplish the mission. understanding of the equipment we give you to do that. and engaging is and letting you be part of the solution that goes forward. nobody knows better than the people conducting it every day. those are the things we are putting into place. it takes time to see the results of that. but i see lots of opportunity on those points to reengage the workforce in a much more effective way and to activate, as i said, that which brought them to the job in the first place. with recruiting, we use a